How to create bookmarks using Word and Adobe Acrobat

Having bookmarks that replicate the table of contents (TOC) is a helpful feature to navigate a thesis or dissertation.  Bookmarks allow the reader to see a TOC wherever they are in the document, and navigate easily to that section of the document.  This tutorial will show you how to create bookmarks using Word and Adobe Acrobat on the PC. This tutorial assumes that you are using the Graduate School’s template to create your dissertation or thesis.

To start, use styles consistently throughout your document to create a structure in your document.  If you are using a numbered style for your outline, the styles used in the template are shown below. Please note for an accessible document, Heading 1 may only be used once for the title of the document.

Title of document (Heading 1 – level 1 bookmark)

List of Figures (Heading 6 – level 2 bookmark)

List of Tables (Heading 6 – level 2 bookmark)

Acknowledgements (Heading 6 – level 2 bookmark)

Abstract (Heading 6 – level 2 bookmark)

1. Introduction (Heading 2 – level 2 bookmark)

1.1 Introduction sub-section (Heading 3 – level 3 bookmark)

1.2 Introduction sub-section (Heading 3 – level 3 bookmark)

1.3 Introduction sub-section (Heading 3 – level 3 bookmark)

1.3.1 Sub-section (Heading 4 – level 4 bookmark)

2. Hypotheses and Goals (Heading 4 – level 4 bookmark)


Appendix A (Heading 7 – level 2 bookmark)

Appendix A.1 (Heading 8 – level 3 bookmark)

Appendix A.1.1 (Heading 9 – level 4 bookmark)

In Word, go to the Acrobat tab, and select “Preferences.”

Select “Preferences” from the “Acrobat” tab in Word.
On the “Settings” tab, make sure that the “Create Bookmarks” box is checked.  Click on the “Bookmarks” tab.  Mac users will not find these options in Adobe Acrobat X.  They should either use the web based converter or a PC to convert their document.

Acrobat PDFMaker preferences. Make sure the “Create Bookmarks” box is checked.
On the “Bookmarks” tab, check the styles that you would like converted to bookmarks, and click on the “Level” number to select the appropriate level with the drop down menu that will appear.  Note that since Heading 6 is a main section, it assigned Level 1, along with Heading 2 and Heading 7. See the example table of contents above.

On the “Bookmarks” tab, select which headings need to be converted to bookmarks.
In Adobe Acrobat, click on the “Bookmarks” icon on the left hand side to display the bookmarks that exist in the document.

Click on the “Bookmarks” icon to show the bookmarks.
It’s nice to let your reader know there are bookmarks in the document by formatting the bookmarks panel to open automatically. In Adobe Acrobat, select “File…Properties…”  Select the “Initial View” tab, and in the “Navigation tab” drop down menu, select “Bookmarks Panel and Page” and then save your PDF file.  The next time you open your PDF file, you will see the bookmarks panel and the first page of the document.

Set the document to automatically open the bookmarks panel.